There’s nothing like getting down to business.
Yesterday, not even 15 hours after winning reelection to his fifth term, Mayor John DeStefano Jr. began the day by filling a few of the conspicuous holes in his administration left by several recent resignations.
After a night spent celebrating his victory with supporters and campaign staffers, DeStefano officially named former Ward 1 Alderman Julio Gonzalez ’99 to be his executive assistant and appointed new directors to the Community Services and Elderly Services departments.
Acting Administrator of Community Services Sheila Allen Bell will become the full-time head of the department, and Pierrette Silverman will become the city’s Director of Elderly Services.
Gonzalez, who managed DeStefano’s reelection campaign, will act as DeStefano’s liaison to the 30-member Board of Aldermen and New Haven’s myriad city agencies. As executive assistant, Gonzalez will take an annual salary of $70,000.
Despite the trio of appointments, two other high-level positions in the administration remained unfilled.
DeStefano has yet to find a replacement for former Chief Administrative Officer James Horan, who left late last month to take a new job in Hartford, nor has he appointed a new press secretary following the departure of Director of Public Information Andrea Comer.
The chief administrative officer oversees the operations of all city agencies.
Jennifer Pugh, who served as Deputy Chief Administrative Officer under Horan, will serve as interim CAO until a replacement is named.
DeStefano said Wednesday the city had initiated a search for a new CAO. He promised to appoint someone to the position “as soon as possible.”
“I have some candidates in mind,” he said. He would not say whether he would make an appointment from within his administration.
DeStefano said he did not think the departures represented any sort of trend.
“With 4,500 city employees and 100 mayoral appointees, this happens,” DeStefano said. “I don’t think it’s anything else.”
Bell is a former alderman and registered nurse. She holds a degree in public health from Southern Connecticut State University and will earn $90,640 in her new position.
Silverman formerly worked as a center coordinator for Planned Parenthood of Connecticut in New Haven and Hartford. Her annual salary will be $65,500.
Gonzalez said that he expects to assume his post this Monday and that Bell and Silverman will likely start sometime next week.